When it comes to sex, and everything to do with the topic, Hollywood’s a-list turn to one lady to help… Dr. Holly Richmond!
Growing up in the Finger Lakes region near Rochester, Dr. Richmond has become one of the top Somatic Psychologists and Marriage & Sex Therapists in the country, who now works with some of the biggest celebrities and notable figures. Additionally, she is a published author and has actually been the leading voice/expert on how new types of technology (such as virtual reality adult entertainment) is a positive key factor for relationships and one’s personal health.
The Levity Ball sat down with Dr. Richmond to learn more about her career, experiences in New York and about the burning question we all have: What’s Next For Sex?!
1. You are a Somatic Psychologist and a Certified Sex Therapist… for those who do not know, what exactly is a somatic psychologist?
How I explain it is that I pay as much attention to the body as I do the mind. So, while I’m focused on what my patients are telling me, I’m also noticing their body language, and aspects of rigidity or laxity. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “What is your body saying that you cannot?” I’ll do a thorough assessment of chronic pain issues, injuries, surgeries, nervous system concerns, and especially anything that is getting in the way of pleasure in everyday life and with their individual and relational intimacy/eroticism.
2. You grew up in Finger Lakes near Rochester… did you always know you wanted to work with people and become a therapist?
Not even close! Although it’s interesting when I go through my book collection from over the years, there are a ton on psychology and sex! So maybe my gut knew and it just took a few decades for my head to catch up. I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a CIA agent, modeled some…and then I got real and became a journalist, and finally a psychologist and sex therapist. I am keeping this job!
3. We heard that you used to be a “Kodak Girl” and appeared on the billboards in Times Square… how was that experience?
It was surreal, to be sure. And it’s surreal now—I’m old and there’s basically no such thing as film anymore! I was a shy teenager so modeling pushed me a bit outside my comfort zone. Confidence wasn’t high on my list of attributes at that time either, so seeing myself on something that big didn’t really sink in. I remember standing in the middle of Times Square with my family looking at the Marriott marquis, and I was ready to move on way before they were. I thought, “Ok, that’s nice, let’s go.” The experience of shooting the photo was amazing though. Kodak rented a horse-drawn carriage for the “groom” and I, and we shot throughout Central Park and at The Plaza. Quite an event for a 17-year-old.
4. These days you work with a lot of celebrities and notable figures… Do you ever get star struck by some of your clients?
I am impressed and in awe of what they do, but my job is to be interested in who they are. So, no, I don’t think I get star struck. At the end of the day they are just people who need help and are brave enough to ask for it. I have immense respect for that given the prominent positions many of them are in.